Food: Tempe, Isn't that a Town in Arizona?

Yes, it is, but tempe is also the latest food craze. Apparently a lot of vegetarians are giving this fermented whole-grain a look. More from Chalmers:
"Tempe is designed for vegetarians, but also for people who want to eat less meat for environmental reasons, for example," says Charlotte Eklund-Jonsson at the Department of Food Science.

"We also had the environment in mind when we chose to base it on barley and oats, which are suitable to cultivate in Sweden and therefore do not require long transports."

Tempe is produced through fermentation with the aid of the micro fungus Rhizopus oligosporus. Tempe fermentation originates from Indonesia, but soybeans are used as the raw material there.

In her work, Charlotte Eklund-Jonsson developed methods to preserve the high fiber content of the cereal grains and at the same time to enhance their content of easily accessible iron. Normally these two considerations work against each other.

The findings show that the uptake of iron doubled after a meal of barley tempe compared with unfermented barley. In other studies both oat and barley tempe moreover produced low blood sugar responses and insulin responses, which is typical of whole-grain products.
Honestly, I don’t know squat about tempe. Now, while I do some research, here are some other sources of tempe’s nutrients. From Dr. Fuhrman:
Many people are not aware that green vegetables are rich in iron and are a complete source of all essential amino acids, too. I would rather get my iron from greens, seeds and beans…

…cantaloupes are another vitamin powerhouse. With only 56 calories a cup, one gets a huge amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as folate, potassium, fiber, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6…

…Raw nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients. They contain lignans, bioflavonoids, minerals, and other antioxidants that protect the fragile freshness of the fats therein; they also contain plant proteins and plant sterols that naturally lower cholesterol. And because nuts and seeds supply certain fibers, phytochemicals, phytosterols, and bioactive nutrients not found in other foods (such as polyphenols and arginine), they have other beneficial effects that prevent blood vessel inflammation.
Since tempe is a grain, I’d do what I do with all my grains—limit them. Take a look:

Have you ever tried tempe?
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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Steve - May 29, 2008 9:51 AM

That's a bit confusing. Tempe(h) can be made from grains OR soybeans?

Sara - May 29, 2008 11:08 PM

I agree about limiting grain based food. What does Dr Fuhrman think about fermented grain? I've only heard of soy tempeh before and it sort of spooks me. I'd rather have tofu or edamames. I don't eat much grain and think I'll pass on fermented grain.

Elijah Lynn - May 31, 2008 4:22 PM

Looks tasty in moderation! I would never consider that a health promoting food though! I was surprised to hear Tempe(h) could be made from fermented grains too, I thought it was just soybeans (edamame beans) that Tempe(h) could be made from.

made utari rimayanti - August 16, 2010 9:06 PM

hi guys, i'm dee, frm indonesia. it's actually pronounced without h, just T-E-M-P-E. and i don't know bout grain, but here, while tempe is made out of soy bean ONLY, it's absolutely tasty. and cheap. it's sort of my favorite food. you can come and try it if you ever visit indonesia.

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